Top 10 heavyweight boxers of all time; Muhammad Ali is No.1 but Mike Tyson misses out

Arguably one of the greatest boxers of all time in Mike Tyson has somehow been left out of BoxRec’s top 10 heavyweight boxers list.

However, the man that topped the list was none other than the great Muhammad Ali, and that was at least one choice everybody could agree with because let’s be honest, who else could it have been?

Moreover, the man that floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee may have passed away in 2016 at the age of 74, but his legacy lives on, as do his historic victories which helped him become world champion three times.

Following on, here is that very list that caused so much controversy. 

1. Muhammad Ali

As previously mentioned, there is no other boxing icon that deserves the number one spot in this list more than the legendary Muhammad Ali.

The eight-time titleholder not only made a permanent dent in the boxing world, but society as a whole.

Ali had several setbacks in his career due to his race and the period in which he was unfortunate to live in. The boxer was simply ahead of his time.

To add to this, Ali could have had an even greater career had he not lost three years after refusing to fight in the Vietnam war, becoming a symbol of the civil rights movement.

2. Joe Louis

The man nicknamed the ‘Brown Bomber’ comes runner up in this list. Louis won honours such as the heavyweight championship, which he defended an astonishing 25 times in a period of 140 months.

However, much like Ali, Louis is recognised as an American hero and one of the first black athletes to achieve the hero status in America.

The boxing icon sadly passed away in 1981.

3. Evander Holyfield

In at third in this list is Evander Holyfield, who deservedly makes the podium.

Holyfield’s quick, slick and powerful boxing skills saw him beat the likes of Larry Holmes and non-other than Mike Tyson, which is something not many people have achieved.

The so-called ‘Real Deal’ held the heavyweight championship four times and, as previously mentioned, shocked the world by beating Tyson in 1996, then beating him again in the rematch in which Holyfield had part of his ear bitten off to win by DQ.

4. Floyd Patterson

The first heavyweight champion to regain his title after losing it makes the list in fourth place.

Moreover, Patterson once regained the title as the youngest ever at 21, until Tyson broke this record at the age of 20.

Furthermore, although Patterson wasn’t known for his brutality in boxing, he still became one of the all time greats, becoming known as the ‘Gentleman of Boxing’.

Patterson retired with a record of 55-8-1.

5. Rocky Marciano

The only ever undefeated heavyweight ranks fifth in this list, and that may come as a surprise, but due to the lack of big names on his list of wins, Marciano cannot be placed any higher than halfway.

However, despite many of his opponents being past their prime, nobody can take away Marciano’s wins against the likes of Joe Louis and Archie Moore and his record of 49 wins and 0 losses.

6. Larry Holmes

Holmes originally made a name for himself as Ali’s sparring partner. However, despite starting up as that, he soon won his first world title, beating the great Ken Norton.

‘The Easton Assasin’ would go on to defeat his former sparring partner Ali and several other boxing icons such as Leon Spinks.

Although, defeats to Tyson and Holyfield places him sixth on this list.

7. Gene Tunney

The oldest or to put it nicely, the most experienced boxer on this list, Gene Tunney places seventh.

The American fought for over 10 years in a period that saw him pick up two famous wins against Jack Dempsey.

Famous for his unorthodox style of technique, Tunney paved the way for future greats such as Ali.

8. Jack Johnson

Johnson became the first African American heavyweight boxer after defeating Tommy Burns in 1908. Johnson was sadly denied a title shot throughout his career due to his skin colour.

However, Johnson did something more important than winning titles, paving the way for future black athletes such as Deontay Wilder.

9. Wladimir Klitschko

The Ukrainian simply dominated the heavyweight scene for over a decade before he was stopped in Dusseldorf by an unfancied Tyson Fury.

Wladimir, alongside his brother Vitali, ran the division and were heavily criticised for ruining it such was their dominance.

Everyone will remember his final fight as it came against Anthony Joshua at a sold out Wembley Stadium.

10. Joe Fraizer

Fraizer makes 10th on this list and deservedly so after having an iconic career, becoming the undisputed champion.

However, despite becoming the undisputed champ, Fraizer will forever be remembered for his incredible trilogy with Ali, in which he eventually lost 2-1 in 1975.

Fraizer’s title reigns ended in 1973 and 1976 with defeats to George Foreman.

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